The Melbourne Racing Club has announced the introduction of two new bonuses to boost the profile of two of the club’s feature races late in the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The two $100,000 bonuses will be linked to the Caulfield Cup and the Zipping Classic while the other one will combine the Caulfield – Melbourne Cup and the Sandown Cup.
The first $100,000 bonus is for any horse that runs in the 2012 Group 1 $2.5 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 and goes on to win the 2012 Group 2 $350,000 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown on November 17.
While the second $100,000 bonus can be won if any horse is a final acceptor for either the BMW Caulfield Cup or the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6 but fails to gain a start (in either race) then wins the $150,000 Sportingbet Sandown Cup (3200m) at Sandown on November 17.
The Melbourne Racing Club has been struggling for runners in the Sandown Cup and especially the Zipping Classic on the back of Flemington’s Melbourne Cup Carnival and are hoping the extra incentive will attract more interest from local and overseas visitors.
Last year’s Zipping Classic, won by French galloper Americain, only attracted a field of five and the Sandown Cup was only slightly better with ten runners.
Melbourne Racing Club Chief Executive Officer, Alasdair Robertson, has no doubt that the new bonuses will add more interest to the Spring Racing Carnival and in particular to the Caulfield Cup which is already held in high regard world wide.
“As the world’s richest turf handicap over the classic mile-and-a-half distance, and sitting in the top flight of races of any distance or surface worldwide in terms of prize money, plus already boasting multiple European-trained winners, the BMW Caulfield Cup is a truly global event,” Robertson said.
“These bonuses provide both local and visiting stables with additional encouragement to target the BMW Caulfield Cup, whilst also providing worthy consolation to horses competing at the highest level in the spring without achieving the ultimate success.”
“The Zipping Classic is a race well-established as one of the highest quality, exemplified by last year’s quinella of Americain and Manighar. Our aim is to build the Sandown Cup to an event of that level, with the added attraction of its two-mile trip to accommodate stayers, either visiting or local, on the fringe of the feature cups.”
The weight for age Zipping Classic was formerly known as the Sandown Classic until the Melbourne Racing Club changed the name in 2011 to honour the feats of the Lloyd Williams owned galloper Zipping, who had won the Classic four years in a row from 2007 to 2010.